This is where I would shop
if my husband worked felling trees
for the mill, hurting himself badly
from time to time; where I would bring
my three kids; where I would push
one basket and pull another
because the boxes of diapers and cereal
and gallon milk jugs take so much room.
I would already have put the clothes
in the two largest washers next door
at the Norge Laundry Village. Done shopping,
I’d pile the wet wash in trash bags
and take it home to dry on the line.
And I would think, hanging out the baby’s
shirts and sleepers, and cranking the pulley
away from me, how it would be
to change lives with someone,
like the woman who came after us
in the checkout, thin, with lots of rings
on her hands, who looked us over openly.
Things would have been different
if I hadn’t let Bob climb on top of me
for ninety seconds in 1979.
It was raining lightly in the state park
and so we were alone. The charcoal fire
hissed as the first drops fell….
In ninety seconds we made this life—
a trailer on a windy hill, dangerous jobs
in the woods or night work at the packing plant;
Roy, Kimberly, Bobby; too much in the hamper,
never enough in the bank.
by Jane Kenyon, from Collected Poems. © Graywolf Press, 2005.
‘what if’, the biggest question in our lives. i guess a perfect life would be without any ‘what if’ moments. and i’m so far away from a perfect life! so many things that i wish i could change, say if i’d a time machine, i would definitely have done things differently, prevented many events before they affected me for ever.
but then i pause and think. whatever has happened has made me what i’m today. so if i do change the past, it’ll definitely affect my present. and there is one aspect that i would never want to change in this present life. the fact that i’ve her with me, calms down my mind everytime i’ve this fantastical urge of going back and changing things.
and this is why i shared this poem with you all today. yes, things could have been different, maybe even better, but then they wouldn’t have been what they are today. and all said and done, if you’ve love in your life today, you’ve survived all that your past could do.
because i’ve love, because i’ve her, i will live with all the ‘what if’ moments of the past. what i’ve is, is so many times more important that what i could have.